It was a weekend to remember. Much anticipated, and much preparation for this event happened. Honestly i did a few all nighters to pull this together and get ready for everything. We just love the dynamics of artists, and the exuberance of the shoppers. Our prep for art craft culminated last Wednesday with set up. We were close to the same spot as last year, pitches just next to the corner, sandwiched between a fabulous stained glass artists named Graham, and ceramics/pottery artist Billy Ritter. I had a vision for placing large silk pieces in the window high enough that they would be over our heads yet in the window for maximum exposure. I picked 3 pieces to hang, and yes, they looked out right onto I 90 at the North corner close to Superior Avenue.
We stocked our booth as much as we could on wednesday, and returned friday to complete the fill in of products we were missing on Wednesday. The racks were full, the space looked ready for people.
Saturday morning we woke feeling like we could have slept a few more hours, but were energized by the thought of a brisk day or two. And we arrived at the booth excited to finish the final things in setting up. Aaah, done, let the crowds come!!! And then it happened…. poof… power off in the building. We were fortunate to beclose to windows, able to capitalize on the natural light, but some of the artists rely heavily on large lighting systems to remove the shadows from dark spaces on the floor…. and without power the elevator does not run either…. In spite of it all the doors opened to a rousting large crowd of people eager to hunt and find those perfect items. Our sales were great… soap flying into little bags and out the door with speed. And then it happened…. someone walked up to my silk rack, picked the green and blue “petunia” pattern and handed me a credit card. OOOH, I just love that silk, and really sensed this would go to a great home.
Saturday was filled with lots of visits from friends and followers…. and that made our day. We just love when people do come out to visit us. And a few of the people who visited were surprises. A beautiful woman i used to work with at Metro came to visit sunday, and i think we attracted undue attention because we both squealed with delight to see each other again. I miss Suzie, and yet jobs change, and we move on. Several folks from work stopped out and were most supportive. And how lovely to run into Eileen Korey. Thank you Irene, Pat, and Karen for visiting. And there were old friends from the community development world, and other parts of our lives. But the joy was the repeat clients who bought soap last year, and wanted to come back for more. And one customer, Christopher, was a single best referral kind of customer, bringing droves of people to us. We just love that so much!
The art was amazing. Graham, who was on one side of us works full time restoring stained glass windows. I had goose bumps when he said he and his studio coworkers are the first to actually lay their hands on a Tiffany window that was installed by Tiffany studios themselves almost 100 years ago at the Old Stone Church. They are doing the cleaning and restoration. I can not even begin to imagine how honored one must be to do such work. And that was just one example of the quality and skills of the artists at the sale. Superb ceramic artists, glass blowers, high end jewelers and cloisonne enamel skills. Yes, beautiful things, amazing people, and a wonderful weekend. We are so thankful for such opportunities, and blessed to be included in that wonderful circle of artists here in Cleveland.
And our soap was selling so quickly. We sold out both days on the Pink Himalayan Salt Soap – In fact we could have brought a third batch with us and it would have easily sold… Hot items were the IPA Beer Soap, any Christmas scents (Evergreen Pine, Noel, Rocky Mountain Pine) and any of the apple scented soaps. The shave soaps were popular, as were the shave kits. Overall we were blessed with a wonderful weekend. Cleveland we really love how well you support the arts.
And we are most grateful for Mark Yasenchack for inviting us back, and giving us a generous space with wonderful art neighbors. We had a blast. Thank you.